Luke Watson? Great, say some. No way, say others

2013-12-20 00:00

THERE were mixed feelings yesterday after reports that Luke Watson, the prodigal son of KZN rugby, could be returning to the province to play his rugby for the Sharks next year.

The Witness spoke to some fans to find out their thoughts about the return of Watson, who played for the Sharks earlier on in his career in the early 2000s.

Watson was not included in the 2004 Currie Cup side after he announced his intentions to swop Durban’s sandy beaches for the shadows of Table Mountain.

George Laas, the chairperson of the Sharks Supporters Club, told The Witness he would welcome Watson’s return to KZN with open arms. “I think it’s a great thing for Sharks rugby,” Laas said yesterday evening.

“He did a lot for the supporters club, and there must be a reason for Jake White calling him back,” he said of Watson, who agreed to be an ambassador for the supporters club when he was with the Sharks.

“He is a committed player and we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover because of his father’s political beliefs,” said Laas.

Speaking about Watson’s “throwing up on the Bok jersey” comments, Laas said they were a bit immature, but added that it was a part of growing up. “Our guys will welcome him with open arms if he’s the guy that Jake White wants. I look forward to having him here,” he said.

But Sharks Supporters’ Club board member Sylvia Bloch said she didn’t like Watson and was unsure why White, who refused to select him for the Springboks despite him being one of the best loosies in the country at the time, would want to bring him back to Durban.

“He plays dirty and we have enough players in the side,” Bloch said.

About the incident in which Watson said he had to restrain himself from puking on the Bok jersey during a candid, private conversation, she said, “That wasn’t good of him to say that”.

Jannie Fourie, another board member said he had just heard about it when contacted by The Witness yesterday afternoon, and that he had mixed feelings. “He was pushed to play for The Kings by his dad. I’ve got mixed feelings about it, but I wouldn’t be happy if he came back,” he said.

Watson’s father is the president of the Eastern Province Kings, and anti-apartheid activist Daniel “Cheeky” Watson.

Secretary for the Sharks Supporters Club, Brian Hodge, said he hadn’t heard the reports and wouldn’t be able to say anything.

Watson, who spent a number of years playing for Bath in England after leaving Western Province and the Stormers in 2009, returned to the country to play for his home team franchise the Southern Kings in this year’s Super Rugby.

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